Oprah Battles Clooney for the Toronto Spotlight; Soderbergh Just Wants to PaintS

It's on in Toronto. Despite pre-festival buzz about the death of independent film and grown-up distribution, turns out there's still enough hype to light up on Canadian city.

• No big deal has yet come out of the acquisitions market at the Toronto International Film Festival, but buyers are said to be circling a fairly large number of films, including the one outings from indie darling directors Atom Egoyan, Todd Solondz and Werner Herzog. The Israeli film Lebanon which took the top prize last week in Venice is said to be the subject of intense jockeying. [Variety, THR]

• Meanwhile the star wattage has burned bright. The weekend belonged to George Clooney who as anticipated, sent the press into a titter supporting his pair of new films. Next up: Drew Barrymore with her directorial debut Whip It and Mariah Carey and Oprah supporting perhaps the most buzzed about film of the fest, Precious. [The Wrap]

• At the Toronto International Film Festival to promote his new film, The Informant, Steven Soderberg has sold the financing for his next film, to be entitled Knockout from Lion's Gate and Relativity Media. [Variety]

Knockout may, however, prove to be the last Steven Soderbergh film ever. Speaking to The Daily Beast about his plans to retire from directing and take up painting, the director said of The Informant and his desire to go out on top, "If everyone in America will go see it, and make it a hit, then I PROMISE I will retire." [The Daily Beast]

• As expected, the box office weekend belonged to Tyler Perry, America's most reliable deliverer of 20 million dollarish opening weekends . I Can Do Bad All By Myself was Perry's third highest opener taking in an estimated $24 million. The animated 9 took in $10.9 in a smaller release. America, clearly turning its back on quality in entertainment, passed on Sorority Row which earned a mere $5.3. [Box Office Mojo]

• All eyes are tuned on NBC's ratings tonight, after the bow of the new Jay Leno show, with seemingly all of Hollywood praying for disaster. [THR]